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Sharpening The Graver

From Horology magazine, December, 1937

Sharpening The Graver
By Harold C. Kelly 
Member National Technical Board, U. H. A. of A.

Sharpening the graver does not seem to be given the attention by the average horologist that it should. We have seen workmen trying to cut a square shoulder pivot with a graver having a point like a wire nail. Naturally their work was unsuccessful yet these workmen did not reflect on the fact that possibly the graver was at fault.

The graver must have a sharp point.  Even the best gravers cannot retain a keen edge very long while cutting tempered steel. Therefore keep a sharpening stone handy and make frequent use of it.

Many workmen use an emery or carborundum wheel to grind gravers. This should never be done as the point of the graver is frequently slightly softened and this point is the most important part.  Instead we use two stones, a soft Arkansas stone and a hard Arkansas stone.  The soft stone is for rapid cutting and the hard stone is for the final finishing.

It is a good plan to have a large supply of gravers so if the point breaks off of the graver in use we may take another and go ahead with the job. We may sharpen all of the gravers later at one time.

The angle to which a graver is ground varies with different workmen; the essential factor, however, is that the graver is sharp. Figure 1 shows the angle usually adopted. This angle. gives a strong point and produces smooth work.  After grinding the face to the angle desired, move the sides on the stone in the direction shown by the double arrow. If sharpened in this manner a smooth cut is produced.

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